Configurator where parameters are not fully determined in advance

Trying to determine if Configurator is suitable for what we are trying to do. As an example I will stay with Wavy Rider Pontoon Boats. Lets say that instead of predetermined list of models we want to allow customer to pick any boat length between range 15-30 ft. By any, it’s almost literary any value in the range, think of it more like a continuous variable rather than discrete. They are still discrete, of course, but it can be so many of them in the range so it’s not practical to predetermine them all in advance.There can also be few other parameters that are configured this way, we could add boat width to be configured the same way, but for a simple example let’s just keep it at boat length.
So question is: Can configurator generate any valid configuration not anticipated in advance and generate proper part number for the boat assembly and all the subassemblies.

@jdewitt6029 @skhan and I made a configurator that could do just this. Anything is possible @amarone … you just have to build it and play around with it. If you confine yourself to the wavy rider example/configurator architecture it may be hard to achieve what you are hoping to do, but if you start utilizing more complex method rules and structure you may be able to get what you’re after.

We were building commercial dining tables. So if you think of a rectangular top on a table, it can be pretty much any size. This size impacts the base that you put it on, the larger the top, the more sturdy the base needs to be. Furthermore, the larger the top is, the more labor and material you will need to make it since the operation time and material required are a direct product of how large the table top is. We built a configurator that took all of this into account and would create the correct subassembly parts on the fly and give the correct operation standards and material requirements.

Sure, we do just that. But the part number for each quote is unique and we don’t reuse them at all as its unlikely many customers will ever order the same thing.

BOM amounts etc are calculated based off customer request.

1 Like

Thanks @utaylor and @Evan_Purdy
So I understand you are not building rules in a spreadsheet like structure, but rather write custom code that handles this, right?

Yeah, so I have a skeleton BOM that has pretty much everything on it, then some materials are removed or swapped based on calculations, as well as all the amounts being calculated by code.

If your actual BOM structure is quite dynamic I don’t have much experience with that, but I think it could be done with some work.

@amarone You can follow the super BOM approach. Here’s quickly the steps that I can think of to create the boat configurator:

  1. Create a part number like BOAT and start including every possible operation, materials and subassemblies to the method.
  2. Then update the method rules in each material and operation. Use keep when rule to include/ exclude them and add code in rule action to do calculation based on the user input Like boat length, width, color….
    Spent more time in developing the rules. For example, you may need 10 mins in Operation 1 if the boat length is <20 ft. For the larger boat, you might need 20 min for the same operation. You can handle this in the rule action.
  3. Then create a configurator interface to take user inputs and run the calculation. You may also put some rules to change the final part number based on the user input.
    Just wanted to warn you, sometimes Super-Bom becomes Monster-BOM :stuck_out_tongue: if you have huge variety and complexity. @jdewitt6029 , @utaylor and I followed the super-BOM approach but used sub-assembly configurators a lot to make the configurators more manageable and user-friendly.

Thank you all, your help is greatly appreciated.